Guest opinion: How to be safe during Monday's eclipse

Posted August 20, 2017

In a total solar eclipse, the moon moves between the Earth and the sun.

Here in central Colorado, we are just outside the path of totality, meaning the sun won't be fully covered by the moon.

According to Dr. Jon Pederson, president of Colorado Optometric Association, "The main eye health concern regarding direct sun exposure is "eclipse blindness" or retinal burns caused by high-intensity visible light". River Valley Eye Professionals is urging everyone to view the eclipse with proper eye protection to avoid any temporary or permanent eye damage from the sun. "You really can damage your eyes".

"The sun shall be turned to darkness before the Day of the Lord come", he said on the show, claiming the eclipse could potentially fulfil a prophecy in the Bible's book of Joel.

On her way back from a recent Upper Peninsula trip with girlfriends, Kristine Morse of Dark Horse Brewing Company started thinking of doing something special for Monday's Solar Eclipse (Aug. 21, 2017).

This eclipse will stretch across the U.S. for around 90 minutes.

"The only safe way to look at the eclipse with the naked eye is during totality", said Lincolnview middle school science teacher Susan Tenhundfeld. You'll need a solar filter, which can be found in "eclipse glasses" or hand-held solar viewers.

Ordinary sunglasses or unauthorized eclipse glasses are not safe for looking at the sun.

Eclipses are also great for studying the celestial bodies involved, and this time NASA will be using converted bomber planes to get a chance at mapping the Sun's corona, making new observations of Mercury and near-Sun asteroids dubbed Vulcanoids. There have been cases of counterfeits sold with this code on it, so make sure to buy them from a reputable vendor listed on the American Astronomical Society's website.

NASA says you should inspect the glasses for the manufacturer's name and address printed on the product, a label noting the ISO 12312-2 worldwide standard, a manufacturing date less than three years old, and no wrinkles or scratches on the lenses. "But, the Earth is mostly water, so most of the time eclipses are going to be happening over water". "We see [the eclipse] as possibly one of those".

The eclipse glasses must come from reputable vendors - the American Astronomical Society has composed a page of legitimate manufacturers and authorized dealers of eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers, all verified to be compliance with the ISO 12312-2 global safety standard. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter - do not remove it while looking at the sun. The eclipse formally ends at 3:37 p.m. when our moon's curved shadow exits the sun's far left edge. In areas where there's a full eclipse, the temperature could drop as much as 10 degrees. The intense solar rays coming through these devices will damage the solar filter and your eyes.

Earlier this week, Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store at 232 5th Avenue in Park Slope was also giving out viewing glasses, but after ordering 150, they ran out after just two days, an employee at the store told BKLYNER Thursday evening. As the only metropolitan area in the zone of totality, many local rooftop restaurants and bars will be hosting viewing parties.